Bank of Canada
The Bank of Canada is Canada's central bank. It was created by the Bank of Canada Act of 1934, to "promote the economic and financial well-being of Canada." more...
The bank's current statement of its goals is:
- The Bank of Canada's responsibilities focus on the goals of low and stable inflation, a safe and secure currency, financial stability, and the efficient management of government funds and public debt.
It is the sole issuer of banknotes in Canada.
The bank's headquarters are located at the corner of Wellington and Bank streets in downtown Ottawa.
For many years, Canada did not have a central bank. Each of the nation's large banks issued its own currency and there was little government regulation of the nation's money supply. The federal finance department only issued small denomination bills. The Bank of Montreal, then the nation's largest bank, acted as the government's banker. Canada, with its extensive branch banking, had a very stable banking system. There was little need for a lender of last resort and the banking system was not hit by the same seasonal liquidity problems as banks in the US. The banking system was regulated by the Canadian Bankers Association that worked in close concert with the government.
While there were some advocates for a central bank in the early part of the twentieth century, most notably farmers, the status quo remained unaltered. This changed with the onset of Great Depression. Many in Canada blamed the policies of the Canadian banks for aggravating the Depression. The money supply was contracting and deflation was common. The farmers were joined by manufacturing interests and other groups in demanding a central bank. Another major proponent was the Royal Bank of Canada, which wanted to see the government business taken away from the rival Bank of Montreal. The government also claimed it was constrained by its inability to deal directly with its foreign debts.
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